In this exclusive interview with VOA, Mr. AMA Muhith, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh talks about the Roundtable Forum on Food Security at the World Bank Washington DC held last week. It was hosted by US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner.
In the first part of the interview, AMA Muhith praised the Obama administration for its initiatives in food security and highlighted the needs for food security throughout the world. He said that food security needs to be assured at production, marketing, and distribution levels.
Muhith mentioned some specific proposals that Bangladesh has placed in the roundtable. He traced the growth of food production in Bangladesh in proportion to the growing population of Bangladesh. He also highlighted the emphasis that the Bangladesh government has been putting on Public Private Participation (PPP) including the agricultural and power sectors.
In the second part of the interview with VOA Bangla Service, Mr AMA Muhith the Finance Minister of Bangladesh talks about the power crisis in Bangladesh and its impact on the economy. He says that he does not feel that foreign export will be affected by the power crisis but he certainly thinks that investments will be badly affected by this acute shortage of power.
He refutes the criticism that the government has done too little too late to resolve the power crisis. Muhith says that they started well ahead of time but the process of asking and re-asking for tender has been time consuming but they, at first decided not to by pass the usual process for the fear of bringing in corruption here. However, lately they have cut short the long process.
The Finance Minister of Bangladesh thinks that Public Private Participation (PPP) will be as effective in the power sector as it has been in the agricultural sector. AMA Muhith is hopeful that although 2010 will be a bad year as far as power crisis in Bangladesh is concerned, the situation will gradually improve by the following year.
He also talks about the financial involvement in digitizing Bangladesh with Vision 2021 as manifested in the electoral program of the ruling party. He adds that once again PPP will be helpful in building a digital Bangladesh.